Acknowledging excellence in the repair of places of worship of all denominations and faiths in England and Wales, the John Betjeman ward is accepting application until 26th February 2019. Importantly, the award is always made to the building rather than an individual, so this is a chance for the whole community to celebrate a local building. Details and nomination process can be found here: https://www.spab.org.uk/about-us/awards/john-betjeman-award
The National Charitable Grants list has been updated.
It is worth noting that this is a national list, and therefore contains no information about local funders. It is also a large document if you are printing it.
CTfC are working together with the National Churches Trust ExploreChurches to promote our churches. See the full article here
If you would like to have your church included on the National ExploreChurches website please contact me at email@example.com
These are some of simplest but most effective jobs that can be done as they require very little specialist equipment, and yet if undertaken regularly, they can save the parish a fortune in repairs. However, as with any maintenance work, always ensure that several people are present on site to hold ladders steady, and follow all health and safety guidance.
Clearing rainwater goods
Gutters, hopper and downpipes can easily become blocked with fallen leaves, sticks and weeds through the year, particularly during the autumn. It is also not unheard of for birds to choose wide gutters to nest in and once abandoned, whole nests can wash along and block outlets preventing rainwater from clearing. Cracks and splits in gutters, downpipes and hoppers can be caused by wear and tear, movement or by water freezing during very cold spells, and these can also cause problems.
If the rainwater goods become blocked or broken the water will overflow, running down the side of the building, or in the case of parapet gutters, it can back up and run over the top of the wall, saturating the eaves. Over time this can lead to the walls and roof timbers becoming saturated, plaster and paintings deteriorating, woodwork going mouldy and in the worst cases rot / insect attack can set in. The whole church will feel cold and damp, and these significant problems, which could easily have been avoided, will cost a great deal of money to rectify.
Rainwater goods and their associated lead work should ideally be checked once a year for cracks, splits, holes, signs of water running down the walls (look for damp patches / green staining), missing / loose brackets and vegetation growth. It is best to do this on a wet day if possible as any leaks will be more obvious. Small repairs / replacement sections of gutter can be sorted out quickly before they cause a problem, and as they are relatively minor, the costs will be minimal.
As well as this visual inspection, the rainwater goods should be accessed via ladders or a cherry picker, (being aware of health and safety at all times), and all debris cleared out carefully to allow the rainwater to flow freely. Once cleared, it is worth using a bucket / hose / watering can to pour some water through to check everything is clear. In areas where there are large numbers of trees or where access is difficult, consideration can be given to covering open gutters and hoppers with chicken wire to allow the water through but to keep most of the leaves out.
It is also important to look at the drains at ground level to see if the water is draining away. If they are blocked by leaves / rubbish / vegetation they will also need to be cleared. If the downpipe does not go all the way down into the drain, water can splash up making the base of the church walls wet. This can be a particular problem where there is no drain and water discharges into a gulley, so these also need to be cleared of leaves, grass and weeds regularly if they are to work properly and take the water away from the building.
It is easy to remove small weeds from rainwater goods which are usually just seedlings blown in by the wind. However, when much heavier vegetation has taken hold within the stonework such as ivy, buddleia or valerian this will require a little more effort to eradicate it. Large expanses of vegetation should be carefully checked for bird’s nests before any removal is attempted. The most important thing is not to just try and pull it off the walls / gutters as it will take the mortar out of the joints leaving you with re-pointing to do as well.
If possible cut the plants off at their base right through all stems. The plants (both the main part and the base) should then be sprayed with a suitable weed killer (on a dry calm day following all health and safety instructions), and then be left to go brown and die off on their own. If the plant has waxy leaves like valerian, a small amount of washing up liquid added to the weed killer will allow it to stick to the leaves rather than simply running off. It will take a few weeks for the plants to go brown and die off and they may require a further application of weed killer especially if the weather has been wet. Although it will not look attractive as it goes brown, please leave it alone.
Once it has completely died off it will have loosened its grip on the building and it can then be gently pulled off without disturbing the mortar joints. Large areas of ivy may actually come off in one go. It is then important to get the area of stonework that has been uncovered checked and re-pointed in lime mortar if necessary to stop water getting in through the voids the plant has made. These areas in particular should be carefully monitored so that if any vegetation starts to grow back, it can be tackled straightaway before it can take hold.
Where weeds have become very large it may be necessary to seek specialist help / advice as the stems may need to be injected with a stronger weed killer. In the most serious cases, sections of walls may need to be carefully dismantled, the roots removed, and the wall rebuilt to prevent it coming back and to stabilise the structure.
The National Charitable Grants list was updated in September.
The list provides practical information on potential sources of funding for various church related projects and is available on the Parish Resources website (or you can download it by clicking here).
It is worth noting that this is a national list, and therefore contains no information about local funders.
Church risk – Theft of Metal
Due to economic factors, metal remains attractive to thieves.
Ecclesiastical have put together a checklist to help improve the security of church buildings.
I wished to remind you of our forthcoming deadline to our Maintenance Grant Programme on 26 September 2018. This will also be the last round of the Maintenance Programme under its current name.
The programme offers awards of between £500 and £3,000 to encourage churches to act on small, urgent maintenance issues and repairs to church buildings costed between £1,000 and £10,000.
Do you know a listed church building with work to do? Please do forward them details of the programme and encourage them to apply if suitable.
To be eligible churches are required to submit 2 quotes and have 50% of funds in place. Further criteria and requirements do exist and more detail can be found in the guidance note on our website, where you can also find the link to the application form www.nationalchurchestrust.org/our-grants/maintenance-grants. Unfortunately we are no longer accepting applications from unlisted places of worship through this funding stream.
Also to note, future changes to our grants programmes: The National Churches Trust has recently launched its new 2019-23 strategy. Alongside this we are in the process of revising our grant programmes to come into effect later this year ready for the 2019 funding allocations. Please find out more here.
|Booking now open for ‘Planning and Managing Major Buildings Projects’ training day|
|Historic Religious Buildings Alliance will be running their 8th training day on ‘Planning and Managing Major Building Projects in Places of Worship’, in partnership with Purcell UK. It is taking place at St Andrew’s Street Baptist church, Cambridge on Wednesday 3rd October 2018.
The day will help you manage all stages of a building project in a place of worship, from start up through to making sure you achieve the benefits over the long term. It is aimed at those concerned with places of worship of all sizes, types and location, and will be relevant both to new build, alterations and repairs. Although focusing on projects of a significant size, many of the principles apply in simplified form to smaller projects, and the day should be useful whatever the size of project being considered. It will be useful both to those who are directly responsible for a single project in a single building, and those who have an oversight role for a number of religious buildings.
The day assumes you already know what you want to do, and takes you forward from there, including setting up a project team, fund raising, obtaining relevant permissions, managing building professionals, keeping everyone engaged, and ensuring the project brings the desired benefits over the longer term. The speakers have hands on experience of building projects in places of worship. The day will be practical and detailed, equipping you to make a better job of managing your building project. You will also hear from completed projects and the people who actually made them happen and their experiences, good and bad!
For more information, and to book please click here.
MaintenanceBooker, a new heritage website to keep historic churches and chapels safe for the future was launched last week in England and Wales, following a successful Heritage Lottery Fund pilot project in Yorkshire.
Set up by the National Churches Trust, the UK’s church building support charity, and 2buy2, the national buying group for UK, charities, schools and churches, MaintenanceBooker makes it easy for churches to prevent problems such as leaking roofs and crumbling stonework.
Churches and chapels of all denominations can use MaintenanceBooker to get professional help for essential maintenance tasks, thereby preventing the need for expensive repairs.
Using the website www.maintenancebooker.org.uk churches can book gutter clearance and repairs, lightning protection inspection, tree surveys and maintenance as well as asbestos surveys and removal. More services will be added later in the year, such as stonework and lime mortaring with bat surveys, and grounds and graveyard maintenance in the pipeline.
A video explaining MaintenanceBooker is available at https://vimeo.com/269895676
For many churches the cost of maintenance can be a major barrier to keeping their building in good repair, so users of MaintenanceBooker can obtain Preventative Maintenance Micro-Grants to help pay for the cost of gutter clearance.
Churches and chapels in the north of England, the Midlands and Wales can now use MaintenanceBooker. The service will be available throughout the rest of England from 3rd September 2018
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